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A Parker Guitar for the Troops in Afghanistan


Chicago, IL, April 2008. Parker Guitars recently heard from Staff Sergeant Iaian Thompson of the 101st Airborne Division stationed in Afghanistan. Iaian is a member of Out of Uniform, a rock band made up of members of the 101st. Parker Guitars supports the troops and was pleased to hook Iaian up with the Fly Mojo Flame seen in the picture below. A bio of the band that Iaian sent follows.

The 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault) Rock Band

Out of Uniform was started in August of 2007 and is composed of 6 members. Just like any other rock band we have your essential Power trio, plus keys and a synth player to fill out the sound. Of course the band is run a little differently than a civilian rock band in the fact that we also have an NCOIC (Noncommissioned Officer In Charge) who is in charge of the musical direction of the band. The music we play is not only limited to rock though. We also play R & B, latin and country. In formal capacities we also can break down into a Jazz Combo and a funk trio.

Since August, the band has been training for our Wartime mission and rehearsing the songs that we would perform for the troops. We also spent a lot of time playing in the local bars and clubs around Fort Campbell, KY to work on our performance. Since we''ve been in Afghanistan we''ve played 5 shows and are about to go on tour around Afghanistan to hit some other Forward Operating Bases.

When we''re not rocking out for the troops we are responsible for providing the Forced Protection for the entire base.

  • Our NCOIC is SSG Carlos Llanes and he runs the band and makes sure we stay on track with our musical direction. He also helps run sound and is one of our vocalists.
  • SSG Iaian Thompson is the lead guitar player and vocalist. He also takes care of the training and soldiering aspects of the band.
  • SPC Thomas Kindle is our bass guitar player and sound tech and is the rhythm section leader.
  • SPC Jessica Krzmarzick is our synth player and a vocalist.
  • SPC Richard Ford is our drummer and a graduate of Northern Illinois University. He has a BA in Music Education.
  • SPC Patrick Droppleman is our Keyboard player and a vocalist. He is a graduate of Northwestern University and a Chicago local. He has a BA in Jazz Piano Performance.

Parker Guitars is owned by US Music Corp., located just north of Chicago. US Music Corp. is a uniquely positioned, fully integrated musical instrument company that manufactures and markets instruments, accessories and audio equipment for professionals, aspiring professionals, collectors, hobbyists and beginner musicians. Also owned by US Music Corp. are Washburn Guitars, Randall Amplifiers, Eden Amplifiers, Oscar Schmidt and Vinci Strings.